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The Mind's Eye 

Volume 4 

Number 1 


The Mind's Eye is a journal ot review and comment 
published four times during the college year 
at North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 
Copyright © 1979 by North Adams State College 

October 1979 


W. Anthony Cengarelly 
Stephen A. Green 
R Michael Haines 
Charles Mclsaac 
Thomas A. Mulkeen 
Ellen Schiff 


Charles Mclsaac 


Frederick Rudolph 


Does the machinery of higher education in the Commonwealth encourage institu- 
tional autonomy and responsibility, faculty authority, student esprit, and education 
for leadership? A view from the private sector. 

Manuel R. Pierson 


How Oakland University diversified its student body by an unorthodox search for 

talent and a system of determined support. 

William P. Haas 


The natal time of higher education found problems of governance with a remarkable 
resemblance to the present. In the Middle Ages a complex structure of custom, law, 
and regulation organized university relations with government and guaranteed the 
consumer rights of students, the prerogatives of faculty, the role of administration in 
overseeing performance, and the protection of academic freedom. 

R. C. 

Vliet 7 

From the Notebook 
To My Daughter 


W. Anthony Cengarelly 8 


A review of Leadership, by James MacGregor Burns 

To observe Massachusetts State College Week, the editors present three articles and a book review which represent four ways 
of thinking about higher education. This issue is set in type and distributed through the courtesy of Campus 79. 

Some Thoughts on 
Public Higher Education 
in Massachusetts 

by Frederick Rudolph 

In New Jersey there is no state system 
of higher education to speak of, but they 
have the Garden State Parkway and the 
New Jersey Turnpike, and every sen/ice 
station or truck stop commemorates a 
notable New Jerseyite, including Joyce 
Kilmer, who was born in New Brunswick 
and wrote "Trees." Massachusetts has a 
state system of higher education to speak 
of, but like most residents of the Com- 
monwealth, I do not see it clearly. I think 
that 1 have a better sense of the names on 
the service station stops in New Jersey. 

• • • 

That last sentence should not be 
misunderstood. I recognize how 
vulnerable it makes what follows. But in 
assessing our state system and attempting 
to see it more clearly, I have allowed 
myself the great pleasure of time, con- 
cern, and contemplation. These unhurried 
thoughts I would like to share with others 
who have lived closer to the system and 
know it more intimately than I do. 

• » » 

Someone said that education is too im- 
portant to leave to educators. Then, is it 
so unimportant that it can be left to politi- 

• * * 

Grover Bowman, Williams College 
Class of 1906, was president of North 
Adams State from 1937 to 1955. I 
remember talking with him, He was in- 
credibly proud of having held his state 
teachers college to a course of study more 
respectful of the liberal arts than was 
usually true of state teachers colleges. He 
left me with the impression that he was an 
educator, the president of a college, and 
that out here on the frontier, a million 
psychological miles from Boston, he was 
giving to his institution a special flavor. 

• • • 

When I correspond with colleagues 
elsewhere I sometimes study institutional 
letterheads, I have no trouble with cor- 
respondence with most of my friends in 
the various state universities, colleges, 
and systems: I know immediately the 
source of the letter. But a few weeks ago 
when I received a letter from a professor 
at the University of Massachusetts at 
Amherst, it took me quite some time to 
figure out where he was and what he was 
doing, so prominent was the major ele- 
ment of the letterhead in proclaiming The 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I ex- 
pected my correspondent to be no less 

than the Governor. Why must the Univer- 
sity of Massachusetts and North Adams 
State College be treated as possessions 
rather than as creations of the Common- 
wealth? I don't quite like the look or the 
sound of it. Perhaps I don't even like what 
it means. 

• • • 

The first state institution of higher 
education in Massachusetts was Harvard 
College. The next was Williams, chartered 
by the Commonwealth in 1793 and provid- 
ed by the legislature with $253,000 of sup- 
port during the next 75 years. After 
Williams came all the other so-called 
private colleges that benefited from lot- 
teries, grants of lands, and tax privileges. 
Later came the normal schools, then the 
state college at Amherst and the 
technological institute at Cambridge. It is 
doubtful if anywhere in Massachusetts 
there is an institution of higher education 
that has not benefited, by design of the 
legislature, from special privileges and 
supports. Thus, the mix of state institu- 
tions and independent colleges and 
universities that now constitute higher 
education in Massachusetts has a history 
that ties them all into the same tradition 
of social purpose. 

• • 9 

Some colleges and universities are less 
beholden to politicians and more respon- 
sive to educators and teachers than 
others, John Bascom, who left the 
Williams faculty in 1874 to become the 
president of the University of Wisconsin 
and literally to make it into a university, 
came back to Williams in part because his 
advocacy of prohibition collided with the 
political interests of the dominant 
Republican Party. There was a time when 
Thorstein Veblen and other critics built a 
convincing case against the dominance of 
American universities by captains of in- 
dustry. Nonetheless, in the twentieth cen- 
tury colleges and universities in the 
private sector have created a tradition of 
institutional independence and faculty 
authority. Boards of trustees have often 
been meddlesome and ignorant and 
disgraceful, and faculties have been stub- 
born and self-serving, but I suspect that 
our freedoms in this country owe a great 
deal to the integrity and guts of the gover- 
ning corporations and faculties, learning 
much from working together, of such 
places as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. 
m m ■ 

I am surprised to learn that North 
Adams State has no board of trustees, no 
responsible body that intimately 
understands the institution, loves it, and is 
particularly sensitive to its history, its pro- 
blems, and its aspirations. This is true of 
all the colleges in the state col lege system: 
Boston, Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Fram- 
ingham, North Adams, Salem, Westfield, 
Worcester, Massachusetts College of Art, 
Massachusetts Maritime Academy. They 

are all fiefdoms, outposts, out of which 
the Commonwealth is apparently struggl- 
ing to create a system. 

• • • 

The ten colleges in the Massachusetts 
State College system all have the same 
absentee governing board. Massachusetts 
also has the University of Massachusetts, 
the University of Lowell, and Southeastern 
Massachusetts University— in other 
words, three state universities— each with 
its own governing board. The fifteen com- 
munity colleges in Massachusetts are 
governed by a single board. All these 
boards are responsible to the Massachu- 
setts Board of Higher Education. Whether 
all this adds up to a system of higher 
education is another matter. One gets the 
impression that if it is a system, it has not 
yet been rationalized, and if it has been ra- 
tionalized, the beneficiaries have been 
politics and bureaucracy rather than 

# * • 

No one should expect a system of 
higher education to be too tidy. In fact, it 
could be so systematic as to be stultifying. 
Yet, to the degree that community col- 
leges aspire to the role and programs of 
state colleges, to the degree that the state 
colleges engage in graduate programs that 
are competitive with the universities, the 
system would seem to be at war with 

* * * 

The annual spectacle of every one of 
the state institutions breathlessly waiting 
each summer for the legislature to mangle 
its budget is unbecoming to the 
legislature, insulting to the men and 
women whose appointments are being 
held in abeyance, and embarrassing to ad- 
ministrators charged with staffing pro- 
grams. The role of the central 
bureaucracy in all this is at best am- 
biguous. Is it essential to the shaping of 
the curricula, defining of standards, and 
certifying of budgets? Is its role heavier 
than it can carry effectively? Private col- 
leges and universities falter or flourish in 
an environment of autonomy and diversi- 
ty and rely on various independent ac- 
crediting agencies to keep them responsi- 
ble. Does the state bureaucracy, the 
machinery of higher education in the 
Commonwealth, encourage or impede in- 
stitutional autonomy and responsibility, 
diversity in the system, and a vital esprit 
among students and faculty in all bran- 
ches of the network of higher education in 
the state? 

• • • 

Somewhere in a state system of higher 
education, decisions must be made about 
institutional missions and about the par- 
ticular combination of purposes or em- 
phases appropriate to particular colleges. 
Fitchburg has built for itself effective pro- 
grams in computer science and the 
preparation of teachers of industrial arts. 


Framingham pioneered in home eco- 
nomics. The Massachusetts College of Art 
and the Maritime College are what they 
say they are. North Adams, although it has 
five professional programs, is perhaps the 
most congenial college in the system for 
the student who is exploring, coming to 
terms with himself or herself, not yet 
ready to be subjected to a particular pro- 
gram instead of a general education 

• • a 

In the 1960s and 1970s until the job 
market dried up, a career in college and 
university teaching attracted a large 
number of able and highly qualified 
young men and women who in other times 
would have found their way into law or 
business. One consequence was a 
noticeable strengthening of faculties in all 
kinds of institutions, and especially in the 
state colleges, which benefited, in their 
transformation from teachers colleges to 
comprehensive colleges, by a fresh input 
of holders of advanced degrees. This new 
element of professionalism on the 
faculties has created a level of self-respect 
and authority that may not altogether be 
understood by Massachusetts politicians. 

• • # 

For almost two centuries Williams Col- 
lege has intentionally defined itself as an 
institution for the preparation of the 
leaders of society. Even in its early years, 
when it was turning out young men who 
became clergyman, doctors, and lawyers, 
success in those professions did not re- 
quire college degrees, but a role of signifi- 
cant leadership in those professions 
generally did. The democratization and in- 
dustrialization of the United States have 
greatly increased the need for leaders as 
well as the kinds of professions in which 
they can serve. In liberal learning resides 
the kind of education that encourages the 
imagination, sensitivity, and wisdom 
essential to leadership. Not every 
American college can be expected to 
adopt the same mission as the old liberal 
arts colleges, but any state system of 
higher education must be so articulated 
and integrated that every son and 
daughter of Massachusetts can discover 
his or her own potential for leadership and 
not be blocked, sidetracked, or denied ac- 

Frederick Rudolph is 
Mark Hopkins Professor 
of History and chairman 
of the American Civiliza- 
tion Program at Williams 
College. Ills most recent 
book, Curriculum: A 
History of the American 
Undergraduate Course 
of Study since 1636 
was prepared for the 
Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher 

cess to the kind of education which sup- 
ports that potential. 

• • • 

In the Midwest and West society long 
ago turned to the state universities and 
colleges for leadership. Here in the East 
the influence of the older colleges and 
universities has denied to the state institu- 
tions an influence and authority com- 
parable to that enjoyed by western institu- 

!f the state systems in the East are to 
fulfill their mission, they must make sure 
that an emphasis on vocational prepara- 
tion does not lead to the neglect of the 
kinds of educational experience that nur- 
ture leadership. Just how the state univer- 
sities, state colleges, and community col- 
leges share and fulfill their responsibility 
to the education of leaders, as well as 
skilled technicians and well-trained 
specialists, seems to me to be the most im- 
portant challenge that confronts the 
friends of higher education in Massachu- 

frsde'ick Rudolph 

(lossey-Bass, 7977], 

A Higher Education 
Response to an 
Urban Need 

by Manuel H. Pierson 

Major Anthony White is a communica- 
tions officer in the United States Air Force. 
He works in the internal security division of 
a special unit. Prior to his current assign- 
ment, he served as a communications of- 
ficer in the U.S. embassy in a northern 
European capital. This is not considered 
unusual; but for Tony White it is 
phenomenal. Ten years ago no one in his 
neighborhood would have predicted 
anything but a life of crime for him. Now, 
everyone points to him with pride. 

Major White is black. He is now about 
30 years old. He has both the bachelor and 
master of arts degree. By any standards he 
is a successful, upstanding American 
citizen. He was a disadvantaged youngster 
from a one-parent home— one of seven 
children existing on government aid-to- 

Tony White, by all indices, was destined 
to be a failure, a dependent on society, 
either in prison or as an unemployed 
welfare recipient. He had been on the 
wrong side of the law from time to time. 
He used his leadership skills to encourage 
his peers to vandalize others' property and 
to terrorize his neighborhood. He had 

fathered a child by age 16. He had been 
kicked out of school any number of times 
for verbal and physical assaults on 
teachers, fellow students, and ad- 
ministrators. After one year in Project Up- 
ward Bound, his high school delightedly 
gave him a diploma. Although his grade 
point average was above 1.00, by normal 
college evaluation methods he had a mere 
,47 on a 4.00 scale. In spite of this, Tony 
was described as having tremendous 
potential by a counselor who asked that 
Oakland University give him a chance. 
Supported by this recommendation, the 
Upward Bound director secured admis- 
sion for Tony. 

Despite his "no-win" background, today 
Tony is none of the things he might well 
have been but has achieved a success bas- 
ed on three sociological concepts 
presented by Arnold (1970] and accepted 
by Oakland University: 1) the dimensions 
of reality are laid down by one's culture; 2) 
a person chooses from the opportunities 
of his culture which act as a press and 
limit his potential; 3) a person will choose 
from among available opportunities and 
rise to the level of excellence which is 
prescribed by his preparation and the sub- 
culture in which he finds himself. With 
these concepts in mind, in 1966 Oakland 
developed a model for the survival, sup- 
port, and success of marginal students 
who did not meet the traditional admis- 
sion standards of the University. Major 
White is one of the results of these efforts. 

There is nothing new or unique about 
Oakland's decision; institutions around 
the country have done likewise Oakland's 
method was to develop a model which 
began with admission. Its model would 
serve an enlarged population from the ur- 
ban enclaves of Detroit with a back- 
ground of experiences such as those 
described above for Tony. The Oakland 
model had three carefully stated phases. 
Cohen (1970), in speaking of the creation 
and selection of solutions, supports 
Oakland's premise regarding the power of 
society and the individual's options: 
One man responds to a barrier on the 
route to the same objectives. Another 
succeeds in convincing himself that 
the game is not worth the candle. Still 
another accepts, but with ill grace 
and an abiding feeling of bitterness 
and frustration, the inevitability of 

The Oakland model was designed to 
locate the one in three who would res- 
pond to the barrier if given a chance. The 
power of the University — the president 
and the faculty— with a shift in priorities, 
decided to advance educational oppor- 
tunities in three phases: 

1. The admission phase departed from 
all traditional indices. Grade point 
averages and test scores were not 
employed as limiting factors in the pro- 
(cont'd on page 4) 


A Higher Education 

[cont'd from page 3) 

cess. Instead noninteUective factors were 

2. An academic program void of the 
"hothouse" effect (special classes design- 
ed for the disadvantaged) but rich with an 
academic support system for students 
enrolled in regularly scheduled courses 
designed for everyone was used. 

3. An empathetie environment was 
developed that addressed the life space 
needs of students without the stigma at- 
tached to being in a special program. 

Phase One: Admission 
It was our premise, from the outset, that 
the success of students like Tony should 
start with identification — the admission 
phase. The University agreed that non- 
traditional measures would be used to 
identify and select students and that the 
Special Programs and Admissions Office 
would be coequal team players in this 
endeavor. Tony White was selected for 
admission using the methods described 

1 . Recruitment was carried out through 
churches, social groups, civic leaders, and 
social and recreational workers in addi- 
tion to traditional school sources. 

2. A 2.5 GPA in college preparatory 
courses was used as a ceiling. Test data in 
the elementary schools rather than at the 
high school level were consulted as a 

3. Heavy emphasis was placed on 
recommendations by persons who believ- 
ed in Tony and the others (ministers, social 
workers, teachers, or persons in the com- 

4. Each prospective participant was in- 
terviewed by at least three persons in as 
many settings— in his high school, at 
home, and at the University. The interview 
was the most important phase of the iden- 
tification process. Heavy weight was plac- 
ed on four intellective skills considered to 
be important in educational development. 
As we interviewed Tony White, we at- 
tempted to determine the level and the 
degree to which: 

— analytical thinking took place. In our 
questions, we attempted to determine 
whether Tony could draw defensible in- 
ferences and could identify central 
issues in arguments, 

— awareness existed. We asked ques- 
tions that gave some indication relative 
to an awareness of the past, the pre- 
sent, and the future; how the applicant 
saw the broad ramifications and im- 
plications of ideas, events, and issues 
and whether he appreciated the 
historical development of human 

—communication was effective. We 
were concerned with whether the appli- 
cant had the ability to communicate 
clearly and concisely. We were not con- 

cerned about grammar or style, but 
with whether he was able to say what 
he wanted to say. 

— synthesizing skills were in evidence. 
Was the applicant good at organizing 
seemingly unrelated ideas into one 
common frame of reference and could 
he find unifying themes in diffuse 
bodies of information? 
5. NoninteUective factors (Qualitative 
Symbolic Codes) served as the principal 
criteria for selection as determined in the 
personal interviews with trained diagnosti- 
cians—advisers in friendly settings (home, 
church, and school). 

Man acquires knowledge and meaning 
through the utilization of symbols. Two 
kinds of symbols are normally used- 
theoretical and qualitative. Theoretical 
symbols are measured through paper and 
pencils means, while qualitative symbols 
are more difficult to measure. It was the 
qualitative symbols which became the 
conceptual framework for the program 

The qualitative symbolic codes listed 
below were developed by Hill (1967) and 
were used in evaluating the interview. 
These codes were adapted for use by 
Robinson (1969), and later improved upon 
for the target population by Pierson 

Qualitative Symbolic Codes 
Empathetie — the capacity to identify 
with, or have a vicarious experience of, 
another person's feelings, ideas, or voli- 

Ethical — a commitment to a set of 
values, group of moral principles, obliga- 
tions, and/or duties. 

Proxemics — the ability of an individual 
to judge "critical" physical distances bet- 
ween himself and others in the act of com- 

Synnoetics — realistic assessment of 

Transactional— an ability to maintain a 
communicative interaction which in- 
fluences the goals of the persons involved. 

Phase Two: Academic Support 
W.E.B. DuBois (1964) once made a 
statement about the education of blacks 
which has served as the rationale for 
enrolling black students at Oakland 
And when we call for education, we 
mean real education: we believe in 
work. We ourselves are workers, but 
work is not necessarily education. 
Education is the development of 
power and ideal. We want our chil- 
dren trained as intelligent human be- 
ings should be, and we will fight for 
all time against any proposal to 
educate black boys and girls simply 
as servants and underlings, or simply 
for the use of other people. They have 
a right to know, to think to aspire. 
(Emphasis added.) 

As DuBois argued for black equality in 
the Niagara Movement (later, the NAACP), 
so did Oakland's administrator of special 
programs when Oakland's plans for the 
admission, support, and retention of black 
students were initiated in 1967, Access, it 
was decided, must focus on retention and 
success as well as admission. 

The Academic Support Program (ASP) 
contained two elements — a summer com- 
ponent and an academic year component. 
The summer component allowed students 
an opportunity to earn ten semester hours 
of credit during the ASP eight-week sum- 
mer session. 

Each ASP student was assigned to a 
four-credit mathematics class and a one- 
credit lab class as a result of a locally pro- 
duced math placement test. A four-credit 
social science or humanities class was 
selected by the student according to in- 
terest; and a one-credit support seminar 
based on the learning theories of Ebi> 
inghaus rounded out the formal part of 

Vandenburg Hall, Oakland University. 


the academic program. The support 
seminars focused on the communication 
arts. The seminar leader reviewed lec- 
tures, defined vocabulary, and taught 
notetaking, outlining, and summarization. 
The seminars were designed to recognize 
that a large portion of what one learns is 
forgotten in a short time span. Therefore, 
notebooks were kept by each student and 
checked weekly. 

The Skill Development Center offered 
three noncredit laboratories for referred 
ASP students staffed by skilled instructors 
assisted by tutors in each area. The 
mathematics lab assisted students with 
math concepts and practical applications 
necessary to proceed in their regular math 
classes. The reading lab provided in- 
dividual reading instructions as a result of 
test data and/or referral. The writing lab 
gave individualized attention to students 
whose writing samples (taken during orien- 
tation) showed weaknesses. 

The academic-year program for ASP 
students was less structured. It provided 
tutorial support for students according to 
need. In the fall students were enrolled in 
12 credits according to major preferences, 
and up to 16 credits in the spring term. 
The first year was completed with as 
many as 38 credit hours (28 credits is 
sophomore status). 

Phase Three: Empathic Environment 
The third phase of the program was 
designed to provide an empathic environ- 
ment in which students could persist 
through the four years. The focus of this 
phase was the counseling component. A 
particularized program was designed for 
students to assure an environment that 
was not too hostile and to provide them 
with the coping skills necessary to survive. 
The residence halls program (each ASP 
student was required to live in the dor- 
mitory during the first year) and attention 
to the social and psychological needs of 
students were the hallmarks of the 
nonacademic efforts. 

Students were assigned counselors in 
the admission phase on a ratio of 1/40. 
However, each counselor had four peer 
counselor aides, reducing the ratio to 1/10. 
The peer counselors worked under the 
counselor's supervision with well defined 
responsibilities. The counseling program 
included three different parts: 

— Human potential seminars met for 
two hours weekly in groups of ten; these 
were designed to help ASP students in 
goal setting, values clarification, and 
the development of coping skills and a 
positive self concept. 

— Individual conferences were sched- 
uled for academic program planning 
purposes as needed, 

— Peer counselors served as big 
brother/big sister rule models while also 
serving as the eyes and ears of the 
counselors, assuring that problem areas 
would not go unnoticed. 

The counseling staff served as liaison 
between the Academic Support Program 
and other significant entities of the 
University. It assured that social needs 
were met through close working relation- 
ships with the residence halls staff and stu- 
dent activities planners. During the 
academic year the counselors served prin- 
cipally as the "glue" which kept the ASP 
students functioning in a productive en- 

Eighty-five percent of the students 
enrolled with Tony White earned Oakland 
University degrees. Since then, the success 
rate ranges from 60 to 75 percent in each 
class. Tony White is not dependent on 
society today mainly because of the urban 
thrust of an institution and its innovative 
approach to equal access 

List of References 

Arnold, David O., ed. The sociology of 
subcultures- Berkeley: Clendessary 
Press, 1970. 

Cohen, Albert K. A general theory of sub- 
cultures in Arnold (1970). 

DuBois, W.E.B. Black reconstruction in 
America. New York: Meridian Elooks 

Ebbinghaus, Hermann. Memory: a con- 
tribution to experiments! psychology. 
New York: Dover Publications, 1964. 

Hill, Joseph E, The educational sciences. 
1967. (Mimeographed.) 

Pierson, Manuel H. Special projects: equal 
opportunities in education. 1968. 

Pierson, Manuel H. Can the academically 
disadvantaged student succeed in col- 
lege? Michigan Challenge, 1969, 9, (9). 

Pierson, Manuel H. Retention starts with 
admissions. 1978. (Paper presented at 
the National Conference of 

Reisman, David, Cusfield, Joseph, and 
Gamson, Zelda. Academic values and 
mass education. New York: Double- 
day, 1970. 

Robinson, Richard L. A descriptive study 
of specific achievements and ap- 
titudes of the "high risk" students in 
Oakland University's Higher Oppor- 
tunities Program in Education. Disser- 
tation, 1969. 

Manuel R. Pierson, Dean 
for Student Services, is 
charged with the respon- 
sibility of equal educa- 
tional opportunity at 
Oakland University, 
Rochester, Michigan, 
Starting with Project Up- 
ward Bound, he has guid- 
ed Oakland's equal ac- 
cess efforts since T966. 

Academic Autonomy 

and Accountability 

in Historical Perspective 

Vfvrnup/ H Pierson. [d D 

by William P. Haas 

Since the execution of Socrates for rais- 
ing unseemly questions in the minds of 
Athens's youth, teachers have had good 
reason to seek out a little extra protection. 
As the process of learning became more 
formalized and institutionalized in the 
West, it became necessary for teachers 
and students to protect themselves 
against the arbitrary interference of other 
parties whether ecclesiastical authorities, 
government officials, or private citizens. 
Thus, with the emergence of universities 
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a 
struggle began to determine the degree of 
autonomy to be allowed or conceded to 
the community of scholars and the locus 
of accountability for the orderly conduct 
of the community's affairs. 

The reader is invited to consider two 
cases in point, one at Bologna and the 
other at Paris, which illustrate the nature 
of this struggle for autonomy and accoun- 
tability. There are at least some interesting 
parallels that, if they do not teach any 
hard and fast lessons, demonstrate the 
complexity of the matter and its dynamic 
character. In a word, the struggle for 
autonomy and accountability did not end 
in a clear-cut resolution, but rather led to 
an ongoing exchange, often resulting in 
disruption of the life of the universities. 
The ally of one moment became the op- 
pressor of the next: apparent success gave 
way to reversal. 

At the root of the struggle was the 
declaration of a new range of purposes for 
the organized pursuit of knowledge. The 
monastic and cathedral schools served 
the intellectual and pastoral needs of the 
Church. However, the new guilds, nations, 
universities, and colleges set more 
specific, practical, and secular goals for 
themselves, namely, the study of law, 
medicine, and philosophy (the arts). A new 
kind of student, a new kind of teacher, a 
new kind of structure, and a new kind of 
relationship to the total society came into 
being. It was an unforeseen and revolu- 
tionary force, destined to change the 
direction of Western civilization. At the 
heart of the revolution were conflicting 
claims of independence and control. 

The new enterprise of institutionalized 
learning brought into confrontation, at 
times abrasive and even violent, four sets 
of interests: the students, the teachers, the 
sponsors, and the local community. The 
students came from all over Europe, 
sometimes well off, sometimes totally 
dependent upon ecclesiastical and other 
support. Faculty, a mixture of clerical and 
[cont'd on page 6J 


Academic Autonomy 

(cont'd from page 5) 

lay professors, relied upon church or royal 
support or upon students' fees. Since the 
universities did not begin with expensive 
buildings and facilities and books were 
rare, the sponsors provided finances for 
faculty and student support and a certain 
legal authorization. They attempted to 
use their leverage in order to maintain 
order and advance learning without en- 
couraging "dangerous" theological or 
political opinions. Local communities 
were often unprepared for the onslaught 
of large migrations of young men with 
strange customs, little respect for local 
ways, and a sense of high purpose and am- 
bition. They were also quick to perceive 
the economic advantages of the new- 
comers and fought to protect and exploit 
those advantages The mixture of these in- 
gredients was explosive indeed. 

At the Studium Cenerale in Bologna the 
associations of foreign students were 
formed into universities or guilds for the 
dual purpose of protecting their civil and 
political rights and to guarantee the satis- 
factory performance of their teachers. A 
very different type of alignment set the 
character of the intellectual guilds at Paris 
where the association of faculty, accord- 
ing to their nationalities and their 
disciplines, set the foundation of the 
university. From these two irreconcilable 
types of organizational principles the 
great seats of learning in medieval Europe 
took their direction, at times imitating or 
modifying one or both of these models. 


Perhaps nothing illustrates better these 
four-way tensions than the situation in 
Bologna at the turn of the twelfth century. 
The students were not mere unlettered 
schoolboys, seeking their first exposure to 
learning. Many were already practicing 
law or were established clerics, often well- 
supported and of an earnest and 
pragmatic frame of mind. They knew what 
they wanted: knowledge of the intricacies 
of the law, civil and canonical, and the 
forensic skills to succeed in the secular 
and ecclesiastical affairs of their 
homelands. They were not about to toler- 
ate the abuses of local landlords, mer- 
chants, and law enforcement officials. Nor 
were they about to accept blindly the dic- 
tates of their professors. 

Eventually, the student guilds con- 
solidated their growing power into two 
guilds, the University Citramontanorum, 
for Lombards, Tuscans, and Romans, and 
the University (J/framontanorum, for 
Spaniards, French, English, and others. 
Each university elected its own rector 
under specific constitutional provisions 
designed to protect the interests of the 
various member nations. He was required 
to be a relatively young alumnus of his 
university, binding himself by oath to 
serve as chief magistrate in civil and 

Begging Students. From a woodcut published in Nuremberg in the fifteenth century. 

criminal matters, resolving disputes bet- 
ween students and masters, and controll- 
ing such student expenses as rents and 
books. When necessary, the rector was ex- 
pected to call upon local town officials to 
deal with external problems. Where co- 
operation was not adequate, the rector, 
with a two-thirds vote of his council, could 
suspend university operations and then 
move the entire university elsewhere. The 
threat of strike was the students' ultimate 

The rector's control also reached into 
the domain of the masters, since he paid 
their salaries and levied penalties and 
fines for such infractions as tardiness, 
absenteeism, attracting too small an audi- 
ence, omitting course material, or failing 
to use the disputation method. To assist 
him in discharging this delicate respon- 
sibility, the rector had a secret commis- 
sion of student spies who were under oath 
to cite faculty lapses. 

Quite understandably, the masters did 
not acquiesce to student demands 
without a struggle. However, when they 
tried to secure the aid of local authorities 

against the students, the students man- 
aged to gain full papal authorization for 
their practices of requiring oaths, impos- 
ing penalties, and migrating. The one pre- 
rogative of the masters that did remain in- 
violate, in spite of constant humiliation, 
was that of setting standards and certify- 
ing that a student had completed satisfac- 
torily the course of studies. Eventually, 
the students lost their control when they 
lost the power of the threat of strike. This 
came about ironically as the result of their 
success: when they could afford to build 
and maintain residence halls, they unwit- 
tingly sacrificed their mobility. The facul- 
ty, who were forbidden to move, now rose 
to their rightful place of institutional 

But, the student guilds of Bologna 
established beyond doubt one fundamen- 
tal principle in the struggle for autonomy 
and accountability, namely, the principle 
of consumer rights. They did not derive 
their rights from an idealistic pursuit of 
wisdom, natural or supernatural. Their in- 
terests were secular and vocational, 
pragmatic and self-interested. They paid 

Amaury de Bene teaching at the University ot Paris. Detail of a miniature from Chronique de France 
ou de St. Denis, early 14th century. 



The poem begins with its first line. 
It does not come when bidden. 
It refuses to be used 
Poems are not translations. 
The poem's primal audience 

is its own perfectibility. 
White cranes across water 
make the lake cohere. 


My dear one, years alone, 
lost in the crowded attic 
of childhood or face pressed 
to widow' s-watch glass while I 
like a maddened Ahab pursued 
the white, spume-blown hulk 
through violent seas, or lesser 

I dreamt 
I walked the shore, by death's- 
wash roar, and a gray 
house loomed, and one 
in the garden there, young 
woman lovely in sunlight, 
with bright hair. "Daddy!" 
you cried in welcoming joy, 
but I knew. "Where's 
your mother?" "In the house." 
Warped clapboards and rotting 
stoop, salt garden 
picketed with whale bones. 
"Where am I?" "Under 
the sea." "I'm sorry I didn't 
do well by you." "That's 
all right. We're happy here." 

My daughter, I shall wear 
the one laughing face 
in Hell, for love of you. 

-R. G. Vliet 

Disputation at the University of Paris about 1400. 

the bills, they were most efficiently 
organized, and they knew how to use their 
ultimate recourse, the university strike. 


At Paris, the evolution of the university 
took quite a different turn, springing as it 
did from the guilds or associations of 
masters, and not primarily from the coali- 
tion of student interests as at Bologna. 
Before the end of the twelfth century, the 
teachers of Paris realized that they would 
have to unite if they were to direct their 
own affairs and be able to meet the sur- 
prising demands of large numbers of new 
kinds of students. Most significantly, the 
masters did not appeal to any other 
authority, ecclesiastical or secular, for the 
privilege of forming a society. They simply 
followed the well-established practice of 
merchants and craftsmen. However, they 
did have to appeal to papal authority for 
the specific guarantees they needed to 
protect their interests against others. 

As at Bologna, the Parisian masters had 
to resort to the threat of m igration to b ri ng 
about the protection they sought. Thus, in 
1200, after a violent quarrel with the town, 
the masters received papal confirmation 
of their prerogatives, In an even more 
significant showdown with the chancellor 
of the university, the masters won recogni- 
tion of their right to elect their own rector 
and to be relieved of the onus of burden- 
some oaths of obedience to the 
chancellor, who was the last vestige of the 
cathedral school's preeminence. One ad- 
ditional weapon remained in the hands of 
the masters of Paris, that of the boycott, 
whereby they and their students could 

render ineffective any teacher approved 
by the chancellor without their concur- 
rence. Again, it took papal intervention in 
1212 to force the chancellor to grant a 
teaching license to any candidate recom- 
mended by the masters. 

It appears from the earliest documenta- 
tion that the masters of Paris were more 
concerned than were their Italian counter- 
parts with what is now called the 
academic freedom to pursue the truth as 
one sees it and to instruct students to 
challenge the established dogmas. Thus, 
not only were the masters organized into 
four "nations" encompassing the known 
civilized world, but they were also 
politically aligned around the four 
disciplines of Theology, Law, Medicine, 
and Philosophy. The latter became the 
most powerful unit which eventually 
chose the rector of the university and 
withstood the threat of interference from 

At the heart of the struggle for in- 
dependence was the passionately argued 
issue, of whether the natural intellect, 
unaided by illuminations of faith or 
grace,has a life of its own? The argument 
was not merely theoretical since the vast 
treasures of Greek and Arabic science and 
speculation were to be exploited or lost 
depending upon the outcome. Hard as it is 
to believe, for a time the reading of Aristo- 
tle was forbidden at Paris, while upstart 
savants elsewhere flaunted their freedom 
to study what they would. It was the facul- 
ty of Arts or Philosophy which led the 
struggle for academic freedom and in 
time achieved the position of leadership 
among the branches of study at Paris. 

The students claim for autonomy rested 
on the accepted proposition that crafts- 
men know their own craft best In con- 
trolling the quality of goods and services, 
the guilds of masters were not all that dif- 
ferent in principle from the guilds of mer- 
chants and artisans. Eventually, the 
pedagogical profession grew to the 
stature of the priesthood and the 
knighthood, especially through the protec- 
tion of the papacy and local secular 
forces who saw the commerce in 
knowledge as a distinct economic and 
political advantage. 

This brief excursion into the early strug- 
gle for autonomy and accountability in 
medieval academe leads to several con- 
clusions, from the very beginning, it was 
necessary for students, faculty, and other 
interested parties to formalize in explicit 
contractual terms the conditions of labor 
for teaching masters, the norms of con- 
duct within and outside the university, 
civil and criminal procedures, professional 
standards, and guarantees of "academic 
freedom." Consumer rights were recog- 
nized as equally important with profes- 
sional prerogatives. Such practical needs 
{cont'd on page 8) 

R. G. Vliet lives in Stamford, Vt. These poems 
appear in a collection of Mr Vliet's work entitled 
Water and Stone, to be published by Random 


Academic Autonomy 

(cont'd from page 71 

of the community of scholars as protec- 
tion against violence, exploitation, and 
abuse were as germane to the claim of au- 
tonomy as were any claims of privilege for 
the searching intellect. Furthermore, the 
universities began as democratic, self- 
governing, and intensely political societies 
which stood in sharp contrast with the 
hierarchical social structures around 
them. The role of administration was 
clearly distinguished from that of teaching 
and was to be subservient to it. 

Accountability was essentially an 
obligation of the members of the univer- 
sities to each other to maintain standards 
and render service and mutual support. 
Accountability to external authority was a 
limited outgrowth of this internal solidari- 
ty. Lastly, the progress in establishing the 
principles of autonomy and accountabil- 
ity was never so secure that it was im- 
mune to erosion from compromise and 
excessive self-interest. 

William P. Haas is Presi- 
dent of North Adams 
State College. 

WilUam P. Haas 



Leadership, by lames MacGregor Burns. 
Harper & Row, 1978. 

by W. Anthony Cengarelly 

James MacGregor Bums's Leadership is 
a work that embraces far more than its 
title initially suggests. This monumental 
study has been greatly influenced by 
sociopsychological theories (especially 
those of Erikson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and 
Piaget) in addition to historical and 
political analysis and thus ranges well 
beyond traditional explanations. For Burns 
power is a "relationship among persons." 
Ideally, he views the political process as a 
purposeful interaction between leaders 
and followers rather than a game between 
elites and masses: 
The function of leadership is to 
engage followers, not merely to ac- 
tivate them, to commingle needs and 
aspirations and goals in a common 
enterprise, and in the process to 
make better citizens of both leaders 
and followers. 

Burns labels such leadership moral 
leadership, which through the realization 
of mutual goals lifts people "into their 
better selves." His definition goes to the 
heart of personal and social motivation 

and taps a collective purpose that can 
lead to significant change: "There is 
nothing so power-full, nothing so effec- 
tive, nothing so causal as common pur- 
pose if that common purpose informs all 
levels of the political system." Political 
skills — strategy and maneuvering— are 
important, but Bums views leadership in a 
much larger context. It is a dynamic pro- 
cess which enlists entire populations in 
movements for constructive change. 

Employing these concepts Burns 
analyzes several types of leadership which 
he categorizes as either transactional or 
transforming. Transactional leadership is 
an exchange of services between leaders 
and followers whereby political support is 
gained through the gratification of consti- 
tuents' demands. This kind of bargaining is 
most conspicuous in plurastic de- 
mocracies where competition among fac- 
tions leads to coalition and consensus 
around parties and issues. Although effec- 
tive, transactional leadership does not 
reach beyond immediate needs or the ex- 
change of services, and thus its ultimate 
impact on people and society is marginal. 
Too often this leadership mode signifies 
nothing more than the "science of mud- 
dling through," which Burns describes as, 
"the making of public policy by small ad- 
justments, piecemeal responses, wrong 
turns, marginal innovations, short steps, 
limited actions — all leading to only 
gradual change. These actions of transac- 
tional leadership react to immediate situa- 
tions and pressures, strike bargains with 
aliies and adversaries, follow limited and 
short-run goals, and seek to maintain 
equilibrium and to avoid fundamental 

Revolutionary and reform leader- 
ship—the transforming mode — come 
closer to satisfying Bums's definition of 
moral leadership. Even though revolution 
can go awry (witness the French ex- 
perience) and reform fall short of genuine 
change (the incrementalist movements in 
American politics). Burns feels that 
periods of revolution and reform have 
served "in some way to help release 
human potentials . . . locked in ungratified 
needs and crushed expectations." During 
such moments of political activity, leaders 
identify more compietely with their 
followers' deepest needs and help to 
shape and actualize them. Furthermore, 
ideological development, born of conflict, 
has put purpose into the political process, 
has activated public consciousness, and 
thus inspired real and necessary change, 
Bums's leadership examples are extensive 
and varied. Some, like Mao's revolu- 
tionary China and the reform administra- 
tions of Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow 
Wilson, approximate his model, but moral 
leadership remains outside the realm of 
historical achievement It is an ideal to 
stimulate thought and point in important 

More specifically, there is a 
sociological dimension to this book 
which moves it four-square into the arena 
of education: 

Essentially the leader's task is 
consciousness-raising on a wide 
plane. . . . The leader's fundamental 
act is to induce people to be aware 
or conscious of what they feel — to 
feel their true needs so strongly, to 
define their values so meaningfully, 
that they can be moved to purpose- 
ful action. 

Here is where general education is 
crucial, but as Burns suggests, it should 
be an education of mutual participation 
not of passive absorption. Thus, teachers 
as leaders "treat students neither coer- 
cively nor instrumentally but as joint 
seekers of truth and of mutual actualiza- 
tion. They help students define moral 
values not by imposing their own 
moralities on them but by positing situa- 
tions that pose hard moral choices and 
then encouraging conflict and debate." 
In this way the school becomes a model 
for leader-follower interaction at the 
most basic level. Through an interdepen- 
dent process leaders elevate followers 
and followers instruct leaders. Out of this 
vortex comes the recognition of needs 
and the development of goals, the kind 
of social planning which lies at the center 
of moral leadership. 

Obviously, this search for values and 
purpose ought to serve as a source of in- 
spiration and a focus of interaction 
within public higher education. Often- 
times, however, faculty, students, and ad- 
ministrators, like the "institution-bound 
policy makers" Burns describes, are too 
preoccupied with making things work 
and "concentrate on method, technique, 
and mechanisms rather than on broader 
ends or purposes" Functioning institu- 
tions which impart necessary skills are 
essential. Yet, technical training must 
never supplant the real life of a school 
where educational leaders and student 
followers identify individual needs, forge 
collective purpose, and create programs 
for human betterment. In the larger field 
of learning economics is as important as 
accounting, sociology as crucial as social 
work, and literature as significant as com- 
position. A careful study of Burns's work 
reminds us that in our eagerness to 
achieve particular levels of expertise we 
cannot overlook the need for a liberal 
education, because when we are discuss- 
ing truly creative leadership, "we are 
talking about the broader subject of the 
political education of all citizens in 
democratic environments." 

W. Anthony Cengarelly, Assistant Professor of 
History and Political Science at North Adams 
State College, is a specialist in American 
civilization and literature. He is writing a book 
on the post-World War I Red Scare.